EPL stats: Total match minutes with ball in play for Premier League clubs in 2022-23 season

A football match is supposed to be a 90-minute affair, however not all games happen for the entire duration. When the percentage of the total match minutes with ball in play this season is taken into consideration, Premier League supporters will be in for a major shock. Only one club in the English top flight is able to keep the ball in play for about an hour, while the rest are drastically falling short of the mark.

Which side keeps the ball in play longer?

Defending Premier League champions Manchester City are the only Premier League club that has been able to cross the 60-minute mark. Their percentage of the total match minutes with ball in play is at 61.5%, according to data provided by Opta Analyst. It includes the injury time in both halves of the league matches this campaign. This is largely thanks to Pep Guardiola’s keep the ball approach. The possession-based football played under Guardiola is so pleasing on the eye.

Man City players take longer time in the build-up process to stitch-up passing moves. In order to counter this approach, teams often sit deep in their own half as they patiently wait for the City players to give the ball away. When Guardiola’s side lose possession, the opponents try to hit them in a counter attack. This patient build-up approach allows Man City to keep the ball in play longer than other Premier League clubs this season.

Not all 90 minutes are equal

No other side in the Premier League are able to touch the hour mark this season. Second place is tied between Liverpool and Leicester City at 58%. They both have a good positive approach with the ball at their feet. These two sides love to take the game to the opponents as they play an attack minded football. Besides, when they lose the ball, both teams are capable of quickly closing down the opponents and winning the ball back in no time.

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Manchester United keep the ball in play at 56.8%. This is the first season under Erik ten Hag for the Red Devils and they are still learning the methods of the Dutchman. Ten Hag has been able to have a quick impact, with the club already winning a trophy in the form of EFL Cup and are also alive in the other two cup competitions. However, they still have a long way to go in order to establish them as a genuine contender for the big trophies. Man United also play a possession-based football with a lot of movements up front, as their players also try to quickly close down the opponents and win the ball back.

Newcastle United are at bottom of the pile

League leaders Arsenal’s percentage stands at 55.7 and Chelsea’s at 55.3. Both clubs are sitting in mid-table positions in this list – not where many would have anticipated to see them. The last place is occupied by Newcastle United. Even though they are being praised for their solid defensive approach this season, Newcastle are occupying the 20th spot in this list with 52.2% to their name. Read the list below to find the percentage of total match minutes with ball in play in the 2022-23 Premier League season:

1Manchester City61.5%
3Leicester City58%
4West Ham United57.7%
5Tottenham Hotspur57.6%
6Manchester United56.8%
7Brighton & Hove Albion56.7%
9Crystal Palace56%
12Wolverhampton Wanderers55.2%
13Nottingham Forest55.1%
15Aston Villa54.8%
19Leeds United52.5%
20Newcastle United52.2%

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